Conservatives fight for the next generation of economic growth
Conservatives are trying to win the next decade’s economic revival in an election that may not be as predictable as they once feared.
While President Donald Trump has been able to rally conservative voters to his side, many Americans have turned to the other side of the aisle, according to new research by Pew Research Center.
That may be because Republicans face the prospect of a tough fight in the midterm elections next year.
Conservatives may have won a majority of House seats in 2017, but they have a big problem on the Senate side of Capitol Hill.
There are no Republicans who will be in the majority in the upper chamber, leaving them with a weak, divided GOP.
The GOP needs to win more than 50 seats to take control of the chamber.
The new survey finds that the party’s base of conservative voters is increasingly leaning Democratic, even as Republicans remain in control of both chambers of Congress.
More than two-thirds of Republicans, 63 percent, now say they lean Democratic.
That’s down from 70 percent who said the same in 2014.
But it’s still a sizable shift, with a significant number of Republicans leaning toward the Democrats.
Among those who said they lean Republican, 57 percent say they will vote for Trump in 2020, up from 45 percent in 2014 and just 35 percent in the 2008 election.
Those voters are also more likely to back Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
The party’s Senate majority is also slipping: In 2016, Republicans held a 51-48 advantage in the chamber, but a recent poll found that the Senate majority was 53-46 for Democrats in 2020.
Those findings suggest that voters in conservative states are leaning more Democratic than those in states where they are not.
And even in the states that are home to the two chambers, those in swing states like Virginia, North Carolina and Florida are more likely than those outside the Rust Belt to be leaning Democratic.
And in those swing states, the Republican Party’s base is growing.
“We see this trend of a growing percentage of voters in swing areas supporting the Democrats,” said Mark Penn, the director of the Pew Research Centre’s Political Science Program.
“So if the Senate is up for grabs, it’s not a given that the House will be up for consideration.”
The Pew survey of more than 1,400 voters was conducted from Jan. 15-19 among 1,002 adults.
The results were weighted to match the demographics of the U.S. population, and include a random sample of 0.2 percent of the overall population.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Follow @gregorykorte on Twitter.
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